Wrong on so many levels.

Someone from out of state writing a letter to this newspaper expressing dismay about recording star Kanye West moving to Cody is insulting.

And saying West’s arrival means Wyoming is no longer worth visiting on vacation is preposterous.

We are in the midst of a lesson in decency that should not have to be explained, but given the current mood of the country, the regular bursts of both incivility and sometimes violence, reminders may be necessary.

There is inevitably an undercurrent of racism attached to this too, because West is African-American.

Doubtless, the Washington state writer complaining about church services and Wyoming likely to be ruined by Hollywood types would declare that a misreading of the intent.

The letter’s writer has been a longtime visitor to Wyoming and now says “I am heartbroken to see the real Wyoming may no longer be a tourism draw for me and others” and “Those of us who appreciate the West are sorely disappointed people throwing money around as Kanye and Kim (wife Kim Kardashian) are doing are starting to diminish the authenticity of the state and the western way of life. I am shaking my head in disbelief. This makes me so sad.”

As am I after reading such a letter trumpeting “There goes the neighborhood.” And as are several others who responded to it on Facebook. The issue of race was raised.

The reality of the church service was this: A single outdoor event on the grounds of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West astoundingly attracting thousands of people from around the region on two days notice, was well-received, even by people I never would have guessed would be attendees.

After the initial national attention accompanying West’s multi-million-dollar purchase of the Monster Lake Ranch, an entity on the Meeteetse Highway struggling to make it as a fishing lodge for years, West’s main Cody impact has been investing in the local economy.

He bought land and has announced plans to run businesses here and bring jobs to Park County.

When all we hear about is growing budget deficits and the need to make cuts in spending, that should make him a hero.

West and Kardashian previously had stayed in Jackson. Jackson has long attracted Hollywood celebrities for skiing and such and is as different as Jackson is from the rest of Wyoming, the Cowboy State survives.

West is a prominent show business figure. His rap music has been wildly successful. He seems to be in the midst of a career focus switch, embracing religiously related music.

The websites and publications that cover that industry have been all over that. But paparazzi have yet to clog WYO 120 outside the gates of the renamed West Lake.

And as for the rest of the busy outside Wyoming world besides the distraught letter writer, people might just not be keeping up with the Wests.

I informed a friend via email West had moved to Cody. Time passed and then he wrote back, “Who was it who moved to Cody? Beyonce?”

(6) comments

gus

Cody doesn't need some outside bigot preaching to us. We have plenty of our own bigots. Go Kanye--change the cowboy culture to your rap hollywood culture.

gbcody12

I think everyone is missing a critical point. Mr West and his family have as much right as anyone to settle here in Cody. What else matters?

Perhaps we should take an objective look at what effect Mr. West's activities, as reported in the media, have had or will have on our community.

Mr. West held a public prayer meeting with singing and dancing. This is bad? Last I heard, the First Amendment guarantees the free exercise of the religion of one's own choice.

Mr West's companies are utilizing some of the former Cody Lab's facilities and has purchased some land and facilities on Big Horn Avenue. This seems to be a good thing for our community. New jobs that are not related to the dominant tourist industry will add diversity to the job market and may allow some of our young people to remain in Cody that would otherwise leave here for more opportunity.

Mr. West has purchased several ranch properties in the Basin and has proposed some improvements on these properties. While these may be unusual to some folks, they will have less impact upon his neighbors than a Cody resident planting a tree on his property line. What a man does with his own property should be his business.

Some people should reflect on their own opinions before speaking foolishly. Leave the man alone.

myWY

Lew, I've noticed that every Enterprise article in support of the West's is written by you. Is this family on your professional "beat" or is it just that you have a particular fascination with them?

Rjack

While I am one who doesn't want Mr West in the Cody area, color or race has nothing to do with my feeling about Mr. West. I'm a newcomer to Cody, even though I had lived in Cody in the mid 70's before my life took me else where (military). But my heart has always been in Cody. Cody residents have always been friendly and ready to help. I'm worried the Mr West with his Hollywood connections will ruin the uniqueness that is Cody. We can always hope and pray for the best.

Timmy Kennedy

So you the newcomer does not want any more newcomers because he / they will ruin the uniqueness that is Cody. May I please remind you that it is not Mr. West that will or has ruined the uniqueness that is Cody. It is not 1976. John Wayne is not going to be Grand Marshall of the Parade. The "uniqueness that is Cody" in some opinions is the Cody being the Rodeo Capital of the World. Are you a Cowboy? Do you participate in the nightly rodeo? Wait I know - you go down town and shop exclusively at one of the fine "rubber tomahawk" stores that support this community. No? Oh so you park your RV at Walmart overnight and spend all day at the "Bison Willie Fancy Treasures and Gun Collection" No? Well then I guess you are just another one of those transplants that are ruining the uniqueness that is Cody. How dare you return and turn Cody to a retirement villa that no one will be to live in because you are part of the problem. You want Cody to stay in 1976. As someone who had to leave Cody because of lack of quality employment and the horrible state of the educational system in Cody - did you know they have built 4 new schools in the last 40 years AND they had the audacity to take land an old asbestos infested school building was built on and allowed some greedy developer to build HOUSES ... yes HOUSES on that land! Why that will just make MORE of those people want to move here and ruin Cody's uniqueness. Perhaps as you are loading up The West family's possessions to run them out of town some one should come and help you pack to go back where ever you came from. You abandoned Cody to better yourself because obviously the uniqueness of Cody was not good enough for you then.

You do not deserve the uniqueness that Cody has now.

I just pray that all the people in Cody do not find out the wind does not blow in Basin - God himself forbid that the mindset of keeping the uniqueness the same in Cody does not spread to the pace of 1960 that is 9erville....

Signed,

A very grateful Cody Boy who was just reminded why none can make a decent living in Cody.

Disgusted taxpayer

I agree wholeheartedly with this analogy...we used to have a saying years ago in Alaska.... lead..follow..or get the **** out of the way. Wyomingites should take heed of an old song "For the Times They are a changing". Like it or not.

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